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Making Sure State Tax Incentives Aren't A Tax Boondoggle

This article is more than 12 years old.

Like many states, Massachusetts offers tax incentives meant to reward companies for bringing jobs here. But those incentives are getting a more critical look now that two high-profile firms that received those tax breaks — Evergreen Solar and Fidelity Investments — are eliminating jobs or moving them out of state.

Evergreen and Fidelity benefited from tax programs that target the mutual fund and green energy industries. Another industry, life sciences, also gets a sizable chunk of Massachusetts tax incentive money. This year, that amount is $24 million.

Among the life sciences companies given tax sweeteners last year is Genzyme, the Cambridge-based biotech giant. But Genzyme voluntarily returned that money — $6 million — after it failed to meet the job creation requirement linked to those tax credits.

To understand how the state decides who gets tax incentives, and how it holds them accountable for that money, WBUR's All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer spoke with Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which helps run the tax program for the state's life sciences industry.


This program aired on March 29, 2011.

Sacha Pfeiffer Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.



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